Friday, 19 September 2008
A couple of new Italian film books
"The Time of the Crime" researches the relationship between time and vision as it emerges in five Italian films from the sixties and seventies: Antonioni's "Blow-Up" and "The Passenger", Bertolucci's "The Spider's Stratagem", Cavani's "The Night Porter", and Pasolini's "Oedipus Rex". By pushing the detective story to its extreme limits, these films articulate forms of time that defy any clear-cut distinction between past, present, and future - presenting an uncertain temporality that can be made visible but not calculated, and challenging notions of visual mastery and social control.
My initial thoughts:
Or, the respectable art-house face of the investigative / mystery film, but with some ideas that might be extended to some of the more aspirational and imaginative gialli?
"Comedy Italian Style" is an essential guide to the glorious works and filmmakers who make the world laugh with them. It is for all lovers of enduring, wry, over-the-top, side-splitting humor on film. "Comedy Italian Style" "officially" known as commedia all'italiana, served as a national cinematographic patrimony for some and a satirical outlook on the economic boom years for others. In truth, it functioned as the principal economic engine of the Italian-film industry.For in many ways, Italy and Italians, are best known through these works of biting humor and incredible grace. The landmark comedies are those of the 1960s and 1970s, when the political soil helped germinate a new society. But this radiant tradition is not contained within two decades; it started in the days before Neorealism and is continued well into the 21st century.Above all, now readily available on DVD and no longer the sole property of esoteric museum collections or art houses, these movies are terrific fun.Internationally acclaimed, from the work of Dino Risi ("The Monsters"), Mario Monicelli ("The Great War"), and Pietro Germi ("Divorce-Italian Style"), the high-water mark and high-wire act of commedia all'Italiana - its influence and tradition - are here explored through filmmakers as disparate as Federico Fellini ("8 1/2", "Amarcord"), Ettore Scola ("The Terrace"), Lina Wertmueller ("Swept Away"), Roberto Benigni ("Johnny Stecchino"), and many others.
My initial thoughts:
Or, let's not talk about the 70s Decamerotics and sex comedies, but at least we're engaging with popular / vernacular cinema a bit more than has been the case?